Conviction upheld in 2015 slaying of police officer

January 13, 2022 GMT

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana appeal court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a man who killed a Shreveport police officer in 2015.

Grover Cannon had appealed his conviction in the slaying of officer Thomas LaValley. LaValley was shot to death after responding to a call about an armed, suspicious person who was threatening neighbors. It happened in Shreveport’s Queensborough neighborhood, according to a release from Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart.

Cannon’s appeal to the Shreveport-based 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal said his trial defense attorney presented a self-defense argument over Cannon’s objection.

The court opinion said LaValley entered the house with gun drawn after neighbors told him the suspect was inside. Cannon’s defense lawyer said LaValley, who was in uniform, did not identify himself as a police officer as he entered the house.

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The court noted in its Wednesday opinion that Cannon’s lawyer, while raising the self defense issue, never conceded that Cannon was the shooter.

“It is apparent from this record trial counsel did not concede, admit, or suggest the defendant committed any element of the offense of first degree murder,” the opinion said. “Counsel also clearly expressed the defendant’s assertion he did not commit the crime.”